Campaigns: Campaigns go hi-tech with drones, cams | Kolkata …

Kolkata: From drone shots to action cams, from live streaming to micro war rooms, the campaigning by candidates in 2024 Lok Sabha polls have gone hi-tech and smart.
Candidates of major parties have their own consultants to advise on election strategy, personal photographers and cinematographers to make videos and reels to be posted on social media platforms and campaign on hi-end SUVs to navigate the undulating rural terrain.

Their communication associates advise them on photo-ops, meet-ups with voters and keep tweeting on behalf of the candidate to engage with the voters.
According to poll strategists of various parties, the transformation is the need of the hour as the voters whom they are trying to reach out to are now educated, tech savvy and own smartphones.
From youths to women, everybody, even in rural areas now uses smartphones.
“The idea is to reach their mobile phone directly and retain their attention to drive home our political message. From the drawing board to the actual execution, our communication strategy revolves around how to reach the voter through various media platforms through their mobile phones,” said a senior communication advisor to a celebrity candidate contesting from one of the district seats in West Bengal.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of Congress, who contested from Behrampore in Murshidabad, which voted on May 13, had set up a micro war room in his party office to steer his campaigning.
The rallies and roadshows of his political opponent, Yusuf Pathan, were captured from overhead drones and action cameras and were edited “cinematically” to touch a chord with the voters.
“Yusuf is a former Indian cricketer and member of two World Cup winning squads. The strategy was to design the campaign in an equally grand manner to compliment his stature,” said a senior TMC functionary in Berhampore.
Candidates have also been streaming live their rallies, road shows and other public engagements.
TMC’s Mala Roy, who is contesting from Kolkata South, has been sharing pictures and videos on social media platforms.
BJP’s Tapas Roy contesting from Kolkata North posts reels and videos of his campaigning within a few hours.
“Technology has become a necessity in the election campaigning process. The voters have progressed towards using more advanced technologies, so it was only a matter of time till political parties made the transition as well,” said a representative of a communication agency engaged by several candidates.

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